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South Park's ManBearPig: Symbol of the Climate Crisis

South Park's ManBearPig: Symbol of the Climate Crisis

⏱Read time: 2 minutes
South Park is one of the longest-running shows of all time; they recently released the Vaccination Special, the second episode of the 24th season. South Park also created a character called ManBearPig that accurately represents how people viewed and used to view the climate crisis. Season 10 Episode 6 (April 2006) of the series is titled ManBearPig.

The origin of ManBearPig

In the episode, (then) former Vice President Al Gore visited South Park to warn the children of ManBearPig, a monster that would destroy the planet. The children helped Al Gore "fight" ManBearPig because they thought that the Vice President didn't have friends. To oversimplify the episode, Gore got the kids stuck in a cave because he thought he was saving the world from ManBearPig, and the episode made Gore look ridiculous. ManBearPig never made an appearance in the episode, leaving the audience to believe he didn't exist.

South Park's apology

South Park issued a not-so-formal apology 12 years later. Season 22 Episode 6 is called Time to Get Cereal (November 2018) brings back Al Gore, and he doesn't come alone. The residents of South Park see the real ManBearPig, so Al Gore wasn't taken seriously until it was too late.

Al Gore ran his 2000 presidential campaign with a focus on climate change, and he lost in one of the closest elections in American History. At that time, climate change sounded like an issue that wouldn't affect America for a very long time. Years later, people realized the urgency of climate change. Gore went on to found the Climate Reality Project to take climate action. 

Action is needed

Even though our society hasn't taken significant action in combating ManBearPig - I mean climate change - it isn't too late to make a difference. South Park's satire of Al Gore and the climate crisis is hilarious, but the inconvenient truth is that climate change is real, and it's not a creature; it's changes in Earth's atmosphere. While the climate naturally changes, humans have caused Earth to warm rapidly which will damage our economy and cause millions of species to face extinction. 

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